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Did you know nasal sprays come with some serious side effects? Read on to know more

Published on:29 November 2020, 10:00am IST
Nasal spray may bring temporary relief but how safe is it? A doctor talks about the pros and cons of using nasal sprays.
Nikita Bhardwaj
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Nasal spray is tricky territory. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Nasal allergies can really disrupt your whole life. If you’re down with one, you probably won’t be able to sleep properly for weeks. Sadly, most of the nasal allergies cannot be cured in entirety but with proper medication and therapy, the symptoms can be contained.

One, however, does need to do something for instant relief and that’s when nasal sprays come into the picture. Over the years, many people have wondered if nasal sprays are safe at all?

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Unfortunately, they are not. 

You see, these sprays are addictive in nature. In addition, they are not the ultimate solution but only meant for momentary relief. Many people end up misunderstanding this instant relief for healing and start to keep these sprays handy. Over a period of time, they become extremely dependent on nasal sprays without even realizing that they are becoming addicted.

Before you start using nasal sprays, you need to be aware of the good, bad and the ugly. 

nasal sprays
Beware of these nasal sprays, if you have sinusitis. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Why do people use nasal sprays in the first place?

According to Dr Vikrant Shah, a consulting physician with Zen Multispeciality Hospital in Mumbai and intensivist and infectious disease specialist, many people opt for nasal sprays in order to get relief from a runny and stuffy nose.

People use these nasal sprays containing liquid medicine which can be directly administered in the nose. There are multiple types of nasal sprays available in the market, ranging from saline nasal sprays, steroid-based nasal sprays, antihistamines, and even decongestant sprays. 

“Saline nasal sprays are generally considered to be safe but overusing the rest of these can be worrisome. People tend to get addicted to these nasal sprays. These sprays will provide short-term relief but are not recommended for every individual,” suggested Dr Shah.

Are nasal sprays safe?

To be honest, they are not.

“Using nasal sprays for a prolonged period of time can lead to bleeding from the nose and even headaches. Some may experience other side-effects such as addiction or even congestion. These sprays can not only damage the nasal tissue but also lead to the inflammation in the nose,” warned Dr Shah.

He added, “These sprays can raise your blood pressure and pulse rate, making you feel dizzy. Moreover, you might also end up experiencing withdrawal symptoms if you stop using the spray. You may be unable to sleep properly or may even feel restless if you stop using the spray.”

Dr Shah revealed that these nasal sprays are very much capable of causing nasal irritation and inflammation. Regular usage may cause throat irritation and sneezing issues, leading to irritability and headaches.

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The final word

If you are using these sprays once in a blue moon to relieve yourself of the symptoms of nasal allergy, there is nothing to worry about. But, you should only use a nasal spray that you’ve been prescribed by a doctor. 

“These sprays cause a bitter taste in the mouth, a burning sensation in the nose, and even dryness in the nasal cavity. So, be very cautious before using them. I would recommend steaming for minor congestion instead of using nasal sprays,” concluded Dr Shah.

So, don’t make a habit out of nasal sprays but don’t shy away from using them for instant relief for the rare moments when your nasal allergy seems unbearable. Above all, be very cautious!

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Nikita Bhardwaj Nikita Bhardwaj

Six-pack abs are all that Nikita needs, along with her daily dose of green tea. At Health Shots, she produces videos, podcasts, stories, and other kick-ass content.